Hot Dogs To Avoid: Leo's Coney Dog

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jun 7, 2010 4:40PM

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It's been a few months since Leo's Coney Island (3455 N. Southport, 773-281-5367) opened, along with the subsequent rush of gawkers and gourmands who have to be The First Through The Door. Folks here at Chicagoist are not ones to shy away from a good chili dog, especially a Detroit-style Coney. After ordering two Coney dogs from Leo's (partly for dinner, partly to bring down my blood sugar levels after sneaking guava Jarritos and Reese's Pieces into a screening of the restored "Metropolis"), I wished I had made my own from Karl's recipe, or my own favorite combination of Vienna Beef and chili from Ramova Grill.

Leo's Coney shows some promise with a snappy wiener, courtesy of Detroit-area Koegel Meats. The rest of the ensemble — thin, tasteless chili and a bun barely capable of holding together under the combined soggy weight —is open faced sadness. Limp, oily fries only cemented the realization that I was played for a sucker, and that there are scores of other hot dog joints around town that can serve up a better Coney than Leo's, even if they don't call it a Coney.